Notre Dame gave up 348 rushing yards to Navy last season in a 23-21 home loss.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said after that game that the Midshipmen gained an advantage over the Irish’s defense because Notre Dame didn’t change much from how it defended Navy the previous year.
That comment irked then co-defensive coordinator Corwin Brown.
The Irish (4-3) will not get caught in that same trap of giving the Midshipmen (4-2) a familiar look this season, and not just because of Notre Dame’s switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4.
But because the Irish have been preparing to face Navy’s triple-option attack for weeks.
“We’ve had our demonstration unit together now for five weeks (in practice),” coach Brian Kelly said Sunday. “When you’re playing both Navy and Army in your schedule, you can’t just take two days and practice against this offense. This was a decision we made last spring, preparing for both of those teams with our ’look’ squads. It’s only about 15 to 20 minutes each day.”
Notre Dame will have plenty of time to prepare for Navy this week as the school is on fall break and the 20-hour practice limit does not apply.
Kelly said he doesn’t plan on significantly increasing practice time, but he will use the looser schedule with the players not having class to prepare them to play at noon in the Meadowlands.
“We can adjust our clocks a little bit,” Kelly said. “It allows us to practice around noontime to get ready for a noontime start. For our players, the adjustment will be pretty beneficial. But we won’t go overboard with practicing.”